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That Fucking Dog

by



IT’D BEEN GOING ON FOR WEEKS, that unbearably loud, incessant barking. Emanating from somewhere behind his apartment building, it’d usually start around 11 or 12 at night, which was inconveniently right around the time he’d be attempting to go to sleep.

The barking had an impeccably distinct tone to it. It was earsplitting, thunderous and bass-heavy, and at the conclusion of each “whoof” was a sort of high-pitched squeal, akin to nails running down a chalkboard. And it was rapid, too, sequential like semi-automatic machine gun fire, pausing for only brief intervals of perhaps 10 to 20 seconds, creating the comforting illusion it’d finally ceased, before resuming relentlessly for hours on end.

For the first couple weeks upon its unwelcome debut, he’d tried to locate the barking’s point of origin. Though he could quite audibly hear it, every time he looked out his window and peered around, he couldn’t see a dog anywhere. He’d even set out on foot a few times, late at night, groggy and bedheaded, in only a bathrobe and slippers, hoping to find the four-legged offender and have an angry word or two with its owner, but his searches were always to no avail.

Finally, after three weeks of sleep deprivation, he looked out his bedroom window and saw… it, that dog, the mangy piece of shit that’d been so painfully preventing his rightful entry into the realm of REM sleep. The creature he’d come to refer to as simply “That Fucking Dog.”

And a truly mangy looking mutt That Fucking Dog was too. Running around wildly in a loosely fenced yard full of mangled old wheelchairs in back of a ramshackle little slanted roof home, just adjacent to the rear of his apartment building, the animal looked to be in nothing other than a wretched, pitiful state.

It was tall in stature, appearing to be a Scottish Deerhound, but it had a curiously long, angular, rat-like face and floppy tongue that flapped around like crazy as it barked its lungs out. Its gray shaggy fur was quite unkempt and probably home to an entire species of fleas and various other blood-sucking parasites. The offensive canine’s physical manifestation was made even more unsettling due to it looking extremely emaciated and something being wrong (i.e. possibly deformed) with its front left leg and it was running and galloping in circles around the wheelchairs with a disturbingly peculiar gimpy bounce as it barked and barked mercilessly under the flickering light of a semi-operational streetlamp.

Having finally located the miserable beast, all his recent thoughts of putting a violent end to its continual disturbances started to come to a boil. Instinctually he thought of shooting it, but bludgeoning it to death with a baseball bat or other blunt object would give him greater personal satisfaction. Rising out of bed, he went into his closet, reached into his toolbox, and pulled out a hammer. This ought to do the trick, he thought, while That Fucking Dog’s barking only amplified in volume as he approached his apartment’s exterior door, hammer in hand.

But he wasn’t able reach for the doorknob and go out there. He just couldn’t bring himself to kill the flea-ridden sack of shit. He suddenly felt ashamed of himself for wanting to bludgeon it to death (and even more so for searching for Michael Vick’s phone number on the Internet a few times). Instead of going out to kill That Fucking Dog, he turned around, went back to his closet, returned the hammer to the toolbox, and then proceeded to go outside, sans hammer, gun, or any object w/killing capability, and simply walked over to the neighbor’s house and banged on the door, angrily.

However, no one answered, and as soon as he started banging on the door, the relentless barking stopped. Perplexed, he went back to his apartment and crawled back into bed. Pulling the covers over his head, it started again, that fucking barking. Since he’d located the animal and its presumable owner, he decided to file a noise complaint and phoned the local police’s non-emergency number. Unfortunately, the cop who answered was anything but sympathetic, telling him in a deep Southern drawl that it was a civil matter, and the only thing he could do was take it to small claims court.

Frustrated, he hung the phone up on the cop, downed a shot of Nyquil and passed out on the couch. All that night he had Nyquil-coma dreams filled with a cacophony of barking dog sounds, and acute visions of that particular dog’s hideously angular face and wildly flapping tongue floating around all over his apartment, in multi-headed hydra beast formations, and him wearing a Richard Nixon mask, hula skirt, and Native American feathered headdress, doing gyrating, flailing dances in concentric circles, humming “Sympathy for the Devil,” and stopping every few seconds to punch and karate kick at the floating hydra-dogheads, which would always disappear into thin air before impact.

The series of dreams culminated in him hanging upside down from his apartment’s ceiling, making breaststroke swimming motions, smelling the scent of bacon cooking, and then his teeth starting to fall out and his hair suddenly catching fire, and him running across the ceiling upside down, into the bathroom, and seeing the dog’s face instead of his own, spinning clockwise in his bathroom mirror, and him smashing the bathroom mirror to pieces with a can of shaving cream.

He woke up the next morning screaming, beating the back cushion of his couch with a clenched fist. His nose was bleeding and That Fucking Dog was still barking, which was bizarre, since it usually only barked at night. Stumbling up to his feet, he plugged up his nose w/a roll of slightly moist toilet paper lying next to the couch and decided he couldn’t take anymore and hurriedly dressed and rushed out the door, post haste, but so post haste that he unfortunately stepped directly into a steaming pile of dog shit as he ran out into his apartment complex’s parking lot.

He then let loose a harrowing wail of a scream, tore off his shit-covered shoe, hurled it into the street, and jumped in his pickup truck, grinded the ignition and slammed his barefoot down on the accelerator pedal, taking off in the direction of the nearby mountains, where he had a dilapidated but cozy mobile home.

Driving up into the mountains, he relished the quietude of the rolling green pastures and endless trees that covered the hills like bushy hairs. He didn’t even bother to listen to any music or the radio or anything on the way up there. He just kept his driver’s side window 1/3 open, listening to the sound of various birds, the occasional mooing cow, passing trucks, and continual whirr of the crisp wind that tapped refreshingly against his stubbly, unshaven face.

(Stopping for gas along the way, motorists at the neighboring pumps shot odd glances at him, and he realized that in addition to wearing only one shoe and having bloody toilet paper clumps hanging out of his nose, his “Kiss Me I’m Irish” t-shirt was on backwards.)

When he got up to the mobile home, he strapped on a pair of hiking boots, cracked open a breakfast beer, and went out fishing in the lake nearby in peaceful solitude. He grilled up the catfish he caught later that night and was joined for swigs of moonshine by a few mullet-headed neighbors, who played “Freebird” over and over again from the radio of an old, beat up Wrangler Jeep.

Feeling almost narcoleptic, he turned in early, lying spread eagle on the mobile home’s sofa-bed, watching TV, falling asleep softly to the calming sounds of a recurring infomercial featuring some short portly guy with a scruffy white beard, monotone voice, and Christmas morning sized smile.

Unfortunately, his sleep was brief, as he was awakened quickly by a familiar sound… a barking dog. And no, it wasn’t one of the mullet-headed neighbor’s dogs or anything like that. No, this was that same distinct, gut-wrenching bark, with the nails across blackboard tinge that’d plagued him for so many nights.

It was That Fucking Dog.

How’d it find him here? Had it stealthily jumped into the bed of his pickup truck and rode up with him? Was this a sick joke? His mind raced and his heart began to beat faster and faster.

Whatever was going on, this is it, he thought. It was time to put an end to this once and for all. Casting aside all inhibitions, he ejected his Nascar sheets off his body, which was trembling with anger, and stormed over to the nearby closet and pulled out one of the many shotguns it contained. This one was a double barrel, and he promptly clicked the neck open and stuffed in a couple shells.

He then kicked open the squeaky, thin wooden door and pointed the shotgun in the direction of the barking. But there was no dog out there. And the second he stepped out the door, the barking had ceased. He swiveled his head around from side to side, took about ten steps forward, but still didn’t hear anything. Creeping slowly backwards, he failed to spot the rolling mechanic’s cart his mullet-headed neighbors use to get under the various automobiles parked on the shared lawn.

The cart took him off his feet, and he nearly flipped backwards. His entire body became inverted in mid-air, and he then crashed down to land, doing a piledriver into the ground. After he unpleasantly completed his fall into the hard, oil-stained lawn, his shotgun landed, nozzle first, next to him and discharged, sending a barrage of pellets sinking into the left side of his face and skull.

The swarm of pellets felt freezing cold at first as they entered, but after a millisecond or two, they burned with solar intensity, causing him the most intense deep somatic pain he’d ever experienced as the barrage sliced through the skin around his cheek, tearing off a large particle of his jawbone, and what must have been a sizeable portion of his cranium.

Shortly thereafter, like in less than a minute, his body’s endorphins kicked in, causing his pain to instantly subside into an utter numbness. Everything then swirl-faded to a gray-like color, from left to right, in sort of a gentle wave, and he lost consciousness.

An indeterminate amount of time later, he woke up in a hospital bed, only able to see from one eye. A large Jamaican nurse, who looked strikingly similar to Aunt Jemima, was hovering above him, mumbling and pulling out a bedpan from underneath his ass. He could feel a urinary catheter attached to his dick. He noticed he was attached intravenously to bags of clear fluids and beeping machines. Looking out the window, he saw a pigeon take off from the ledge outside the window and disappear from the edge of the red brick building into a fluffy grayish-white cumulus cloud that was only partially illuminated by the sun. It must’ve been late afternoon, he thought.

A doctor of Pakistani, Bangladeshi, or Indian origin suddenly appeared in front of him, almost as if he’d beamed in from some sort of Star Trek device.

“Mr. ‘    ,’ the doctor began, his heavy south-Asian accented voice oscillating between octaves, “you have had a very bad accident.” The doctor’s voice soon started to be broken up by what sounded like a distorted hum, and all he could make out was bits and pieces of what the Star Trek South Asian was attempting to convey.

“Compounded fractures on the right side of… VZZZZZZReconstructiveVZZZZZZZZZ… Otoplasty…”

“Ocular… VZZZZZZZ… IncisionSteelVZZZZZZZGraftIregretoZZZZZZZ… ”

The hum grew louder, tuning out the doctor entirely, and just as fast as he’d appeared, the South Asian faded away.

Now alone, he lay in his hospital bed, staring with his one working eye out the window, watching little clouds of grayish/whitish hues go by. Gradually the hum dissipated, and the Jamaican nurse came in and out of his room a few times, changing clear bags of fluid to which his right arm was connected by white tubes. Her speech was punctuated by many “mons,” and she was telling him about some hurricane approaching the Cayman Islands. (He was unable to speak, so he couldn’t respond, and wasn’t sure he would’ve anyway.) Every time she opened and closed his door he saw the same geriatric man in a rusty wheelchair, swatting at what were probably imaginary flies, being wheeled around reluctantly by a tall nurse who appeared to be transgendered.

Dusk passed. His window darkened and he felt what must’ve been a morphine drip, [i.e. like probably a nice shot of (5α,6α)-7,8-didehydro-4,5-epoxy-17-methylmorphinan-3,6-diol], course into his veins. His sole operational eyelid inched shut in millimeter increments. He was beginning to feel a certain level of relaxation he’d not felt in weeks. But then, in just a split second, his serenity was shattered.

He heard it again.

That barking.

That Fucking Dog.

It sounded like it was coming from directly outside his window. He looked out but couldn’t see anything. He tried to yell but couldn’t even do that. He started to feel like the guy in Metallica’s “One” video. But he wasn’t that bad off, for he could still move, and move he did.

He sat up in bed, tore the urinary catheter off his dick and threw his bedpan, which fortunately was empty, to the floor. He yanked his arm free of his IVs, causing fluids to splatter out in every which direction. Feeling around his face, trying to cover his ears, he could tell his entire head was encased in a huge bandage, particularly heavily on the right side.

He rolled out of bed, crashing into the linoleum floor, but robotically stumbled up to his feet, as if he was a zombie. Barefoot and wearing only his hospital gown, he walked as fast as he could, which wasn’t really fast, but seemed fast to him, out the door of his room, down the stairs, through the intake area, and out into the cool evening, following the direction in which he heard the barking originating.

And there it was, That Fucking Dog, standing in an ovular pond underneath a large phallic water sculpture in the middle of a traffic circle across the street from the hospital. With drool dribbling down both corners of his mouth, he whimpered, then summoned all his strength and ran, flailing his arms, across the street, knocking into pedestrians, shoving down a prepubescent girl in dental headgear, sending her tumbling to the pavement. He dodged and weaved through oncoming traffic, cars blaring horns at him, and he jumped into the ovular pond, wading through stacks of wish pennies as he approached the hideous beast that barked louder and louder with every water weight resisted splashing step he took in its direction.

Only a yard or two from That Fucking Dog, he dove at it, arms outstretched, but only fell, face first into the shallow water. When he arose, he wiped at his lone working eye and looked around, but didn’t see the dog anywhere. Instead, at the foot of the pond, he saw only the geriatric man in a rusty wheelchair from the hospital, sans transgendered nurse. The old man was staring straight at him, laughing with a toothless smile, and swatting away furiously at what were probably imaginary flies.


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About Newamba Flamingo


Newamba Flamingo is fighting a Holy War against an armed gang of violent Asian ladyboys. He lives in an apartment covered in Hebrew graffiti and knows the aliens who abducted his cat will return. He wears women's underwear sometimes while jogging and doesn't appreciate what you said about his shirt.

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